Epic Poetry and Beowulf

Topics: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Hroðgar Pages: 3 (891 words) Published: January 19, 2008
BEOWULF: A HERO

In reading the epic poem of Beowulf, he has the characteristics of an epic hero by showing skill and courage, enduring fame, and royal responsibility. "Beowulf is considered an epic poem in that the main character is a historic hero who travels great distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts" (Wikipedia). He showed fairness to all he came across, including his enemies. He believed that everybody was equal and no one was greater or better than anybody else. While in battle, Beowulf showed great loyalty to his enemies by fighting one-on-one. Neither he nor his foes had the upper hand. This is the major factor in Beowulf's greatness. Beowulf was also a hero because he fended off Grendel and stopped him from killing any more of Hrothgar's men. This showed his great loyalty to Hrothgar and his people. Beowulf's shows extraordinary skill and courage, which is an example of an epic hero. In the poem of Beowulf, Beowulf shows courage and skill by slaying Grendel without the use of a shield or sword. The reason why Beowulf decides to kill Grendel with out the use of any armor is because Beowulf feels that he should have no advantages over Grendel. By conquering Grendel without any armor Beowulf proves to the people that he truly is courageous and skillful. The following paragraph shows just how courageous he really is: "I count myself weaker in war or grapple of battle than Grendel himself. Therefore I scorn to slay him with sword, Deal deadly wound, as I well might do-nothing he knows of a noble fighting, of thrusting and hewing and hacking of shield" Beowulf also shows skill and courage when he defeats the troll wife. After the killing of many Thanes in the mead hall Beowulf is able to kill the troll wife with the use of the Hrunting. He defeats The Troll Wife with a thrust at the throat, which broke through the bone rings of the troll wife. Once again Grendel exemplifies the...
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